Court rejects father’s Establishment Clause challenge to divorce decree provision on religious education of children

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Roberts v. Roberts, (TX App., Dec. 19, 2012), a Texas appeals court rejected a father’s Establishment Clause challenge to a provision in a divorce decree under which his former wife was given the right to pick up the children for religious classes on Sundays on which the father otherwise had possession of the children.  The court said in part:

Just as  the  court has discretion to mold the decree to accommodate activities such as soccer games and music lessons if it finds them in the child’s best interest, it may accommodate a parent’s desire for the children’s religious education, provided that it does not favor one parent’s religion over another or over a preference for no religion.  Martin has not directed us to, nor  have we located, any evidence in the record that the court’s decreed visitation schedule, accommodating, inter alia, the children’s current religious education, in any way  favors Margaret’s religion.